Pork on rice is always a fantastic idea. I bet there is very few people that can resist braised pork on rice. Well, I can’t. Braised pork on rice is a very famous type of street food in Taiwan. Every shop and every housewife has their own secret to make this special dish.
My initial/earlier version of braised pork was made using very few ingredients. It was nice until I discovered that there are a lot more than just using soy sauce and braised the pork till soft. There are many versions of making braised pork, some even add mushroom to it, some say by adding fermented beancurd, it will elevate the taste, some use pork belly (cut into small pieces), some use minced pork. The list goes on and on.
This version of braised pork uses pork belly, fried small red onion, fermented beancurd and dried shrimp to create complex multi-level tastes to it than just relying on soy sauce.
The Chinese has a specific word for the state when this braised pork is done which I can’t find the exact english word to describe this dish. The word is “软糯”. Which means the pork is braised until the texture is sticky, soft and gel-like. Of course you must use pork belly in order to get this texture.
This braised pork looks simple and dark. But there is so much of flavours behind this dark looking braised pork. The complexity of the taste is very hard to describe. Try describing a dish where you add the sweet caramelized fried small red onion, the dried shrimp that gives you the umami taste, salty sweet with slightly bitter and pungent fermented beancurd, five spice, oriental must-use soy sauce and sugar into it. I can’t describe but do let me know if you can.
- 200g of pork belly with skin on
- 2 small red onion, to make fried onion
- ¼ cup of oil
- 1 sprig of spring onion, chop roughly
- 1 knob of ginger (about ½ inch)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon of dried shrimp
- ½ cube of fermented beancurd
- 2 teaspoon of crystal sugar
- ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of five spice powder
- 1¼ cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon of rice wine
- 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- A bunch of bok choy
- A few sprigs of coriander leaves (I forgot to include in the photo, silly me)
- 1 sprig of spring onion, slice thinly (I forgot to include in the photo, silly me)
For serving: 1.5 cups of steamed rice
- Cut the pork belly into 1cm. Then cut into thin strips. Set aside.
- Heat up your sauce pot in medium heat, once the oil is hot, add in the thinly sliced small red onion. Fry until the small red onion turns light golden color. Drain and retain the oil and set the fried small red onion aside.
- Heat up your medium pot in medium heat, put in the oil that you used to fry the red onion a moment ago, once the oil gets hot, put in the dried shrimps, green onion, garlic clove, ginger star anise and cinnamon to fry. About 1 minute.
- Add in the pork belly and stir to fry. Fry until the pork turns white and some pork strips are light brown in color. For about 3-4 minutes. Add in fermented tofu, crystal sugar, five spice powder and white pepper. Continue to fry until the crystal sugar melted.
- Add in 1 cup of water, dark soy sauce, soy sauce and rice wine. Turn to high heat to bring to boil.
- Stir in the fried red onion. Turn to low heat and continue to cook for about 1.5 hour.
- Meanwhile, when time is closer (about ½ an hour to the completion of the pork stew), cook your rice and also make the hard boiled egg. Lastly, blanch the bok choy. We have to get ready all these for assembling at the end.
- After 1.5 hour, add in the hard boiled egg and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Assemble your rice. It’s very simple to assemble this hearty meal. Take a bowl and fill it with rice. Pour the stewed pork on top. Line half of egg and some bok choy at the side.
- Tada! Comforting bowl of rice is ready.